Acrylic tank… questions before I buy

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rexzilla_03

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I just ordered an acrylic tank from @Joe Glass Cages, kinda weird dimensions. Went with their 49g with the 48”x18” footprint, they said 8-12 week lead time. I think with the low height you’re doing, it shouldn’t be any problem. The one I’m getting is only 13” tall if I had it I’d let you know what it’s like, but I’m not worried at all

Was actually thrilled that they made acrylic cages too :face-with-tears-of-joy: They also had the best price, everything else was $250more for same footprint at least
Oh that’s awesome!! I honestly had no idea they made them, I went on their site a few times before I stumbled on them, that’s going to be a cool tank, I’m back and forth on height, right now I’m looking at 17” but I really dig shallow tanks and almost thinking of 15”-16”. What’s your plan for it?
 

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What size tank and how old is it? A few years ago I almost ordered one with them, I saw a few say their sump was coming apart from them but otherwise seems good. I’ve basically narrowed to them and glass cages, which I’m leaning real hard on just seeing the activity in the group from years, and prompt communication. Always like to hear as much from the relevant audience if possible.
72x24 180gallon with 50g sump

I have in my thread. I am coming from Red Sea 425xl and SCA 150g . The clarity speaks for itself.

I do want to let you know though , purchase melamine sponge to clean your tank. I was super paranoid about scratching and I never had issue since using. I did purchase the sleeves and acrylic scrapers and tried on a corner. When I looked under light I seen scratches so I had to find something else and melamine is what a lot of people pushed me towards, I been happy since with advanced acrylics and my whole setup. It’s a lot of $$ but it’s worth the peace of mind to never have a leak (he gave me 10 year warranty) LOl
 

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Research acrylic builders and go with their recommendation on thickness. Thicker is NOT always better. I have an acrylic tank up for 15yrs. Last year I sanded and polished out 15yrs of scratches. Looks like brand new.
Nice. Can't do that with glass.
 
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rexzilla_03

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72x24 180gallon with 50g sump

I have in my thread. I am coming from Red Sea 425xl and SCA 150g . The clarity speaks for itself.

I do want to let you know though , purchase melamine sponge to clean your tank. I was super paranoid about scratching and I never had issue since using. I did purchase the sleeves and acrylic scrapers and tried on a corner. When I looked under light I seen scratches so I had to find something else and melamine is what a lot of people pushed me towards, I been happy since with advanced acrylics and my whole setup. It’s a lot of $$ but it’s worth the peace of mind to never have a leak (he gave me 10 year warranty) LOl
That’s awesome! I’m glad you’re happy with the set up, it sound really awesome! That’s the same peace of mind I need, have had bad luck with seams and just need to be done with it.
And thank you for the tip on those sponges. I really appreciate that!
 

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Oh that’s awesome!! I honestly had no idea they made them, I went on their site a few times before I stumbled on them, that’s going to be a cool tank, I’m back and forth on height, right now I’m looking at 17” but I really dig shallow tanks and almost thinking of 15”-16”. What’s your plan for it?
Just lots of live rock, hopefully coral, and fish. I got a 75g, so 20” high, but it busted and this was the best replacement option for my budget right now. I figure it’ll help with maintenance as both less water to change and less wall to scrape for algae.

It will eventually be paired with a 20g long sump and I’m setting it up with reverse undergravel filters. I’m planning to build a house in the next year or two and will build a big tank into a wall then, so this will just be my enjoyment tank till then :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Biggest downside for this vs 75 is you lose height, so some wrasses and jumping fish may not be recommended. But gosh don’t necessarily need height so you can put more and bigger than regular 50g cause the have the 48” swimming space along the front
 

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Hey everyone long time lurker, semi checked out of the hobby while my tank was on limp mode, found a bunch of bubbles forming in my seams randomly. Long story short, going to acrylic and have a few questions related to construction and narrowing a brand. My dimensions are super basic. 48x24x17 or even 16, going more on the shallow end.

Question 1: What thickness acrylic is sufficient for this? I don’t want it to bow, it seems 1/2” is what majority is using with bracing. Would it be worth bumping to 3/4” for overkill or a waste of money?

Question 2: I’m really leaning towards glass cages for it, they got back to me really fast, answered my questions and from the involvement and pride I see here, I feel confident this will be great, anyone have an acrylic tank from them?

Any opinions welcome
1/2” is plenty strong enough for that! Most manufactures would use 3/8” which might give you a slight bow of about 1/8” in due time..
 

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1/2” is plenty strong enough for that! Most manufactures would use 3/8” which might give you a slight bow of about 1/8” in due time..
This is assuming Eurobracing around all edges, right?

3" bracing here, or what would you do?
 

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@19Mateo83

Thanks for tagging me in here. Great discussion

using the link below, the formula says 0.446 in thickness for this size tank. So, we round up to .5". can build thicker if requested.

Thanks so much!

What would you do for euro and cross bracing?

How wide for bracing?
 
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rexzilla_03

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Just lots of live rock, hopefully coral, and fish. I got a 75g, so 20” high, but it busted and this was the best replacement option for my budget right now. I figure it’ll help with maintenance as both less water to change and less wall to scrape for algae.

It will eventually be paired with a 20g long sump and I’m setting it up with reverse undergravel filters. I’m planning to build a house in the next year or two and will build a big tank into a wall then, so this will just be my enjoyment tank till then :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Biggest downside for this vs 75 is you lose height, so some wrasses and jumping fish may not be recommended. But gosh don’t necessarily need height so you can put more and bigger than regular 50g cause the have the 48” swimming space along the front
Just lots of live rock, hopefully coral, and fish. I got a 75g, so 20” high, but it busted and this was the best replacement option for my budget right now. I figure it’ll help with maintenance as both less water to change and less wall to scrape for algae.

It will eventually be paired with a 20g long sump and I’m setting it up with reverse undergravel filters. I’m planning to build a house in the next year or two and will build a big tank into a wall then, so this will just be my enjoyment tank till then :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Biggest downside for this vs 75 is you lose height, so some wrasses and jumping fish may not be recommended. But gosh don’t necessarily need height so you can put more and bigger than regular 50g cause the have the 48” swimming space along the front
That sounds really awesome, personally I prefer shallow tanks over tall at those lengths, I think you’re going to really enjoy that size once you get it filled up and cycled, it sounds like a really cool build.
 
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rexzilla_03

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@19Mateo83

Thanks for tagging me in here. Great discussion

using the link below, the formula says 0.446 in thickness for this size tank. So, we round up to .5". can build thicker if requested.

Thanks so much!

I look forward to doing business with you sir!
 

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Was hoping one of the big fish would chime in, appreciate it! Was intrigued with acrylic years back, my glass tank getting ready to split in about 2 years reminded me why I was interested, I feel confident in glass cages. Good to know 1/2” is gonna be the move, let’s me use my existing equipment. Lol
I am not a big fish but I might smell like one lol! I think you will love the strength of acrylic and lower weight moving the tank!
 

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Wife hates this hobby so it’s hard to get her support, without turning this into a relationship advice group lol, she gave me a budget I have to stay fairly tight with. If the integrity of the tank would be sufficiently increased for going to 3/4” over 1/2” it will be worth it, I’m more concerned about the tank bowing as I’m not familiar with acrylic, it will be euro braced more like a lid with cut outs. It will have plenty of support I just want to make the best choice all around.

My power heads (Nero 3’s) are rated to 1/2” which will work great, if I go 3/4” unnecessarily then I have additional expenses to handle on top of that. I will spend the money for integrity if it makes logical sense too.

This tank is fairly small in terms of other builds especially being shorter (less stress). The tank it is replacing is an oddball 40x18x18 tempered glass on a canister filter and fuge lol. Just like to hear opinions to compare and sleep on, keep them coming.
The only drawback to acrylic is the bowing but with the shallow depth the pressure on the long faces is where the deformation may occur. I have a 5' long fish tank @18+ inches with thinner walls and it bows a bit but isn't noticable when viewing from the front. IF you really don't want bowing, using thicker material on the front wall with 1/2 material on the sides would allow you to minimize to almost non-detect the pressure deformation that happens on the long face while having places on the side walls to attach water movers for waves and circulation. That would mean you would have square corners instead of round, just a thing to think about regarding minimizing any tank bowing in acrylic.

I love my acrylic seams, bonded vs silicone provides significantly more peace of mind with regards to flooding potential.
fish corgi GIF
 
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The only drawback to acrylic is the bowing but with the shallow depth the pressure on the long faces is where the deformation may occur. I have a 5' long fish tank @18+ inches with thinner walls and it bows a bit but isn't noticable when viewing from the front. IF you really don't want bowing, using thicker material on the front wall with 1/2 material on the sides would allow you to minimize to almost non-detect the pressure deformation that happens on the long face while having places on the side walls to attach water movers for waves and circulation. That would mean you would have square corners instead of round, just a thing to think about regarding minimizing any tank bowing in acrylic.

I love my acrylic seams, bonded vs silicone provides significantly more peace of mind with regards to flooding potential.
fish corgi GIF
Assuming yours is euro braces as it seems common practice to do so, what thickness is your tank?
Thank you for the insight.
 

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Assuming yours is euro braces as it seems common practice to do so, what thickness is your tank?
Thank you for the insight.
I'm not sure, it is braced with lid cut outs, probably 3/8th. I have an unbraced tank, similar depth, 1/2 inch thickness and it really should have been braced. Warp is out of control.

Glass Cages has there guidelines and they are likely very good tanks @1/2" with only minor deformation. Physics tells us there will be some deformation, if you want less across the long surface then thicker is better. I only mention this because some people want zero deformation and that is impossible unless you don't fill the tank. :D Thicker helps but the cost and difference between 1/2 & 3/4 is significant but a thing you can manage to fit Your needs. HTH.
 

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72x24 180gallon with 50g sump

I have in my thread. I am coming from Red Sea 425xl and SCA 150g . The clarity speaks for itself.

I do want to let you know though , purchase melamine sponge to clean your tank. I was super paranoid about scratching and I never had issue since using. I did purchase the sleeves and acrylic scrapers and tried on a corner. When I looked under light I seen scratches so I had to find something else and melamine is what a lot of people pushed me towards, I been happy since with advanced acrylics and my whole setup. It’s a lot of $$ but it’s worth the peace of mind to never have a leak (he gave me 10 year warranty) LOl
Aren't melamine sponges super fine grit sand paper, it doesn't leave scratch/swirl marks? Maybe not visible when wet at least?
 

Jubei2006

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Aren't melamine sponges super fine grit sand paper, it doesn't leave scratch/swirl marks? Maybe not visible when wet at least?
The original magic erasers work well also. I use one on occasion with my 500 gallon acrylic from James Steele at Envision acrylics. Really the only thing you have to be careful with is picking up sand or coralline algae with any cleaners.
 

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Aren't melamine sponges super fine grit sand paper, it doesn't leave scratch/swirl marks? Maybe not visible when wet at least?
It does work like it. But it appears to be like Styrofoam and can rip apart very easily. I use it 1x and then throw it away as i find it can disintegrate I have no issues doing this process because you can buy a bulk of 50 for about $9.

Per internet search - The open-cell foam is microporous and its polymeric substance is very hard, so that when used for cleaning it works like extremely fine sandpaper, getting into tiny grooves and pits in the object being cleaned. On a larger scale, the material feels soft because the reticulated foam bubbles interconnect. Its structure is a 3D network of very hard strands, when compared to the array of separate bubbles in a material such as styrofoam
 

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The original magic erasers work well also. I use one on occasion with my 500 gallon acrylic from James Steele at Envision acrylics. Really the only thing you have to be careful with is picking up sand or coralline algae with any cleaners.
You want to make sure they are 100% organic with no cleaning solutions on it like the magic eraser has otherwise your in for a bad day
 

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